The Egg: Tried & True Meets Versatile Culinary Innovation

By Carlynn Woolsey, Foodable Contributor

Chances are, you start your day with a big ole plate of them. Or maybe you prefer to eat them while out for brunch on the weekend. Even better, perhaps you savor them in a more unconventional “breakfast for dinner” kind of way. No matter what time of the day, or day of the week for that matter, it’s a pretty safe bet that eggs are a part of your diet someway, somehow. And on the off-occasion that they’re not, you might want to reconsider your routine because according to industry insiders, 2014 promises to be the “Year of the Egg.”

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Foodable WebTV Network

Incredible, Edible Versatility

In their marketing campaigns, the American Egg Board has been singing the praises of the “Incredible, Edible Egg” for over 30 years now. Not only is this tune catchy, but justified, too, with one of the main reasons being that the egg is such an incredibly versatile ingredient to use. Consider the myriad of ways it can be prepared on its own – scrambled, over easy, or sunny-side up, to name a few. Now think of how many baked goods, custards, puddings, and other creamy desserts are bound together with eggs. Eggs also act as thickening agents, while lending richness to classic sauces such as Béarnaise and Hollandaise.   

Trendy Player

As easily as eggs lend themselves to recipes, they just as easily lend themselves to trends. One of the biggest movements in the coming months will be the increasing emphasis on buying and sourcing local. There are fewer products more readily available than farm-fresh eggs. We’ll also see eggs branded to the health-conscious consumer as an alternative source of lean protein, given that recent reports have eased previous concerns about cholesterol. Lastly, a trend in and of itself is the egg as the ultimate topper. We can expect chefs to be toying with fried eggs in particular, setting them atop burgers, casseroles, and even pasta dishes, as well as over traditional regional specialties like Korean Bibimbap and Mexican Huevos Rancheros, which are becoming more mainstream.

Frothy Friend

Saddle up to the bar and you’ll find that once widely popular egg-based cocktails, including the Pisco Sour and the Ramos Gin Fizz, are making a comeback. When shaken, egg whites lend a foamy, frothy texture to these drinks that would otherwise be hard to achieve. For the more adventurous crowd, the Prairie Oyster is a hybrid shot – and notorious hangover cure – that utilizes a whole egg, cracked into a spicy vodka-vinegar-ketchup mix. Lest you be concerned about salmonella, alcohol will kill almost any bacteria present, but you can use a pasteurized egg (or ensure that your bartender is) when consuming any of these libations.

Try your own egg white cocktail at home!  

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Frothy Lemon & Rose Water Cocktail

Ingredients

2 Parts Gin
½ Part Elderflower Liqueur
½ Part Rose Water
½ Lemon, Juiced
1 Egg White
Ice
(Optional) Lemon Zest Garnish

Directions

  1. Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, rose water, lemon juice, and egg white to a shaker. Shake vigorously [without ice] for up to 10 seconds. Doing this will allow the mixture to emulsify, and cause the egg white to inflate, creating a frothy texture.
  2. Add ice to the frothy mixture, and continue to shake until the metal from the shaker ices up under your hands. Pour immediately and serve topped with lemon zest, if desired.